Ilam Hall YHA
The first Ilam Hall was built by the Port family in the 16th century but this was demolished by Jesse Watts Russell to make way for his much grander hall of the 1820s. Most of the hall was demolished in the 1920s before Sir Robert McDougall bought the estate and donated it to the National Trust in 1934. Since then, the main remaining part of the hall has been used as a Youth Hostel and the grounds have been open to the public.
lam Park is a 158-acre (0.64 km2) country park situated in Ilam, on both banks of the River Manifold five miles (8 km) north west of Ashbourne, England, and in the ownership of the National Trust. The property is managed as part of the Trust’s South Peak Estate.
(Ashbourne, the ‘post town’, is in Derbyshire and thus so is Ilam’s postal address, but the Park, and Ilam, are in Staffordshire; the county boundary being the River Dove).
The estate was owned from the 16th century, for over 250 years, by the Port family. It was sold to David Pike Watts in 1809. On his death in 1816, the old hall was inherited by his daughter who had married Jesse Russell. Russell (as Jesse Watts-Russell, High Sheriff of Staffordshire in 1819 and Conservative MP for the rotten borough of Gatton) commissioned James Trubshaw to build a new Hall to designs by John Shaw; the Hall, now a Grade II* listed building, was built between 1821 and 1826.
By the early 1930s it had been sold for demolition. The demolition was well advanced when Sir Robert McDougal bought it for the Trust, on the understanding that the remaining parts (viz:- the entrance porch and hall, the Great Hall and the service wing) be used as an International Youth Hostel. Today Ilam Hall is leased to the Youth Hostels Association (England & Wales) (YHA).